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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I don't really know how the laws work is other states but surely not as crazy as Illinois. DW's father passed away and had a farm that had to be sold to pay off estate bills. Ended up selling at auction for $1930.00 per acre.
Befor the sale had property surveyed. The survey said there was 105 acres.
One of the neighbor farmers bought it and after winning the highest bid he said he wanted to have it re surveyed because some of the line markers from the first survey were over the fence on his property. After checking into this I have found that if a fence is put up on land that belongs to you and it is there for seven years and the person that owns the land over the fence maintains it the land on the other side of the fence no longer belongs to you it belongs to him. So the farm went from 105 acres to 99.2 acres.
Now we have 13.9 acres that is half wooded and half pasture. We now have electric fence around the pasture but want to put up something more strong.
We don't really want to run the fence throuigh the woods to have trees falling on it all the time and the bottom next to the creek floods every few years. Ready to sell out and get away from all these nutty laws but with the economy the way it is have had no luck in selling. What to do?
 

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It is called adverse possession and has been discussed here previously.

Generally such farm land where I live is sold by the acre but for a more or less description of the described basic amount.

If adverse possession was not claimed BEFORE the auction I doubt the adjacent land owner could legally claim it as his since he never spoke up even after the survey was done. However you would probably have a long court battle to gain the few acres of sale price back.

Too bad such so called neighbors exist.

My brother keep pushing to have my dad's property line surveyed claiming the neighbor was over on our property by several feet. I asked my brother if paying for surveying and moving 1 mile of four wire barbed fencing and replacing old fence posts would really be worth having an extra half acre of land. We never proceeded.
 

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It is adverse possession and most states have some variation of it, including Kentucky. As stated, you can fight it, and it would come down to if the fence was assumed to be on the property line when erected, or if it was put through a more convenient area, but the owners at the time knew and acknowledged where the true line is.

Actually, there's something confusing me about your post. If the line markers are on the neighbor's side of the fence, then his new survey is right according to the deeds...
 

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Voice of Reason
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Actually, Illinois law appears to be on your side. Your neighbor is claiming adverse possession because of a misplaced fence, not by color of title. Therefore, by Illinois statute the time of possession is not 7 years, it's 20 years.

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In Illinois, the duration of such possession is seven (7) years when made under color of title and twenty (20) years otherwise. Illinois Code §735-5/13 through 101, 107, 109, 110.
http://www.lawchek.com/resources/forms/que/advposs.htm
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No doubt about it, he's encroaching. Send him a letter quoting Illinois statute, and demand that he either move the fence or be taken to court. Fact of the matter, since he's been a SOB about this issue, accuse him of trespassing while you're at it.
 

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Two simplways to deal with the problem.
Move the fence once in a while.
DONT lets someone else maintain your land.
Actually this is one of the MOST normal LAws Il has.
 

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Voice of Reason
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By the way, here is a definition of "color of title".

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Color of title is where the claimed owner has some piece of paper claiming to transfer title to him or her, and that paper has defects for some reason. Color of title refers to a claim based on a land right, land warrant, land scrip or an irregular chain of title.
http://definitions.uslegal.com/c/color-of-title/
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As you can see, color of title requires some reasonable argument that he is the owner of that property through some legal, although perhaps defected, conveyance. Your neighbor makes no such claim. This issue only involves a misplaced fence, so he couldn't even pretend to claim adverse possession for 20 years. Make him get his fence out of there.

You know, if your neighbor was a nice guy and admitted that he placed the fence there by accident you could work with him. After all, fencing is expensive. If he came to you and said, "Look, I placed my fence on your property by accident, and it's going to cost a lot of money to move it. Can't we work something out so I can leave it there?" I know that I would be willing to work with a neighbor who came to me with that, but since your neighbor happens to be an SOB you really have no choice except to force him to move the fence.

By the way, you don't need to fence your woods just to maintain ownership. No one is claiming to possess your unused woods. I think you're safe.

You can acknowledge ownership of land to avoid adverse possession very easily. Probably the easiest way to do it is to certified mail the person occupying your land a signed note, either granting him permission to use the land or demanding that he vacate the land. Either way, your legal ownership is acknowledged, regardless of whether he stays or leaves.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It is adverse possession and most states have some variation of it, including Kentucky. As stated, you can fight it, and it would come down to if the fence was assumed to be on the property line when erected, or if it was put through a more convenient area, but the owners at the time knew and acknowledged where the true line is.

Actually, there's something confusing me about your post. If the line markers are on the neighbor's side of the fence, then his new survey is right according to the deeds...
No after he won the bid he had the property surveyed from fence to fence said he wasn't paying for acres that he was not getting. We have decided to just go along with the land sale and take the loss.
My concern is if I fence the pasture on our land will the other neighbor be able to come along later and claim our land on the other side of our fence as his own or can we fence it and still hold title to whats over the fence.
All this land was never surveyed before that anyone knows of.
 

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Voice of Reason
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My concern is if I fence the pasture on our land will the other neighbor be able to come along later and claim our land on the other side of our fence as his own or can we fence it and still hold title to whats over the fence.
He's not openly occupying it, so he has no claim to the land.

Adverse possession is not just telling someone, "Hey, you didn't fence-in your land, so now it's mine." That's not adverse possession. That's just someone trying to claim land that doesn't belong to him. No judge on earth is going to go along with that nonsense.
 

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Voice of Reason
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No after he won the bid he had the property surveyed from fence to fence said he wasn't paying for acres that he was not getting. We have decided to just go along with the land sale and take the loss.
Then you really have nothing to complain about. You gave that land away. I think you have a very good case against your neighbor for costing you $12,000 for the 6 acres you couldn't sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well the neighbor that claimed the land on the farm was just farming the land not really occupying it. He did the same thing to the neighbor on the other side of him and after a long court battle won the case and now holds a lien on the other neighbors land.
 

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Voice of Reason
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Well the neighbor that claimed the land on the farm was just farming the land not really occupying it. He did the same thing to the neighbor on the other side of him and after a long court battle won the case and now holds a lien on the other neighbors land.
Actually, farming the land qualifies as occupying it for adverse possession purposes. However, he needs to do it for 20 years.

As for the story about the neighbor on the other side, why would he hold a lien on the land? There's something about the story you either don't know or aren't telling us. You don't get a lien on property when you take it by adverse possession, you get a deed.
 

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Voice of Reason
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Just to be clear about something here, adverse possession isn't always the scummy thing it might seem to be. For the most part, adverse possession becomes necessary quite by accident. Like the accidental misplacement of a fence. Here are some examples.

  • If a fence was accidentally misplaced a long time ago by a neighbor, then that neighbor made a substantial investment on that land (such as placing a building or drilling a well), then he may need to take the property by adverse possession to protect his investment.
  • Another case might be in a divorce where one party abandons the other, so the party who remains on jointly owned property could settle the matter through adverse possession.
  • Sometimes undocumented easements that have been used for a long time can become valuable to a neighbor, a neighborhood, or a community. If the path had been used for a very long time then it might be able to be taken through adverse possession by those who need it.
But adverse possession can be a valuable tool for homesteaders, and be done without doing anything scummy.

In a previous thread we had a discussion about making modest offers on distressed property to purchase inexpensive land for homesteading. While that's a good method, adverse possession has the potential of getting homesteading land for even less, without harming anyone or even having any hurt feelings over the matter.

Here's how it works. You go through the county records looking for property that taxes are overdue on. Those are properties that are in danger of being seized by the county for back taxes. What you do is to send a letter to each delinquent property owner, usually making a ridiculously low offer for the property, or just asking if they're interested in selling. They probably won't reply, but if they do then they're really motivated sellers and may take a few hundred bucks for the property. If they don't reply then don't worry about it. But what you're REALLY looking for is letters that were returned as undeliverable. Those property owners have flown the coup for some reason.

On the ones where the letters were undeliverable, pay the taxes. Often that can be done online, and it will be documented by the treasurer that you're the one who paid the taxes. It will only be a few bucks per year for vacant land, so the risk is minimal. That will keep the property from being seized by the county for taxes. Odds are that the property owner will assume that the property was taken for back taxes, so he'll never contact the county to update his address. The laws vary from state to state, but in Nevada & California you can take land by adverse possession in only 5 years (it's only 2 years in Arizona), and then have a clear deed for the land as a result.

You get a homestead for practically nothing, the previous owner never knows you took it, and the county collects the tax assessments on time. In the end, everyone is happy.
 

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Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian
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This is why fences should be on the property lines!:lookout:
 

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Well the neighbor that claimed the land on the farm was just farming the land not really occupying it. He did the same thing to the neighbor on the other side of him and after a long court battle won the case and now holds a lien on the other neighbors land.
The term you are looking for is 'maintain' the property.

The neighbor was working, using, & maintaining the property. For 7 to 20 years, in most states that gives the person ownership.

Build your fence where you want your fence.

Use or mow or weed or walk upon all of your land, place a couple fence posts upon the line and trim the weeds away from them once a year (no fence, just posts) and this proves you are using or maintaining or occupying your property. Do _not_ allow the neighbor to put a shack on your property, or mow your property, or build a bicycle track on your property, or dump grass clippings on your property, etc. for many years.

It is only natural that using something for many years unchallenged shows ownership of that 'something'.

It's not always neighborly to take adverse posession of land, but then again it is not right of the original owner to simply abandon the land to someone else and then expect to get it back again decades later.

Adverse posession never happens if you take care of your property.

Obviously you got bitten on this, but it was not the fault of the fella who purchased the land - he should not have to pay for something he is not getting! It is equally at the least the fault of the person who allows their property to be used for a long time & does nothing to establish their own ownership of the property.

You have nothing to worry about on your own property - use it, visit it once in a while, and prevent others from using it.

It is then yours. as it should be.

--->Paul
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think years ago when the fence was placed it was placed at the edge of the woods as it is at the edge of the woods on most of the property line. The neighbor just cleared out some of the woods and started farming it in 1 or 2 places and now is claiming all of it.
 

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Voice of Reason
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I think years ago when the fence was placed it was placed at the edge of the woods as it is at the edge of the woods on most of the property line.
But you don't have any idea how long ago that might have been?
 

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I think years ago when the fence was placed it was placed at the edge of the woods as it is at the edge of the woods on most of the property line. The neighbor just cleared out some of the woods and started farming it in 1 or 2 places and now is claiming all of it.
Most of us - including me - seem to have a poperty line dispute with at least one neighbor.

Typically they start long long ago with some misunderstanding, and often one of the properties gets sold & the old understandings or misunderstandings get elevated to a real disagreement.

I'm not trying to take sides on your deal. It is unfortunate when such happen, including to me.

The govt needs to clear these up somehow, and most states decide once property has been claimed or used or maintained by someone for 7-20 years without any complaint being filed, things will be as they have been the last 7-20 years and move on. If the previous owner hasn't done anything in that time frame, then why should they waste recources on sorting out the fighting....

I can sorta understand the govt's position on this one.

Not saying it was right for that neighbor to take the land! But it was also not so right to let it be for as long as the real owners did. Something shoulda been said or done right away.

That doesn't help you any, as an interested but too late involved person.

The law itself does make some sense, if you view it from a dis-interested person looking at it from all sides.

I'd still be mad at the neighbor that took the land years ago, as I'm sure you are. Wasn't right, from what we are told of the situation.

In my case, if you never heard my side, you'd think I was the lousy rotten neighbor. A road goes down my property line. I try to make road ditch hay on both sides of the road, and even think a few feet of \land on the other side is mine. But we all know a road goes on the property line, 50-50 right, so I'm a crook? My neighbor could make quite a one-sided case against me here....

The road used to meander into my property several 100 feet years ago. They rebuilt it in the '50s, straightened it, but kept the entire right of way on my property, nothing on the neigbors. Govt didn't have to get a new easement, dad was happy the road was straight & out of the way, everyone was happy... Road builder looked at the survey plans, decided the curve on the east side of the property would be too sharp, and moved the middle line of the road all on his own. He kept it in the road right of way, but _not_ according to the planned survey of the roadbed. The little survey company may have noted this after the fact. We don't know. Dad had conversations with the road builder, but nothing written down, didn't really seem like a big deal in the 50s.

Big survey co bought out little survey company, little company had big fire and most records were lost.

Big survey company now determines boundries by measuring from the centerline of the road.

I lose about 3 acres of land because of this. Big survey comany is never wrong, as they are _the_ co the county uses, and can sorta make things come out their way, wink wink.

So, if you hear my side, perhaps I'm right? If you hear the neighbor, all roads run down the property line, I'm just a greedy kook right? Who do you believe? Two sides to the story.

I don't know the story your neighbor has - perhaps he did some big jobs for your family many years ago, & your family said if you want to clear the land you can run it, it's across the fence & too much bother for me.... I've seen that happen before. Now we get a generation removed, and no one on either side has an agreement written down - and who knows what is right?

It gets very complicated. The govt just wants assets being used & taxes paid on them. If no one fussed about it for 7 or so years, they don't feel they need to dig up all the old lost documents either.....

A good neighbor of mine lets me cut an acre or so of his pature for hay - the only gate to it is on my line. He doesn't want anything, I give him $40 or so every Christmas time for it. I don't really need the hay, but if it doesn't get cut the weeds get real bad & blow..... We all come out ahead, but you see the potential for problems 20 years from now? As I pay rent - don't have to but do - things stay pretty clear. Their land, I'm renting it.

Sorry for the babbling. This is a very old problem in society. Govt has come up with a solution to it that keeps everyone at fault & settles the dispute & moves on. Most of these arguments are not 100% one sided. Person should keep control of their property a little better than every 7 years.

--->Paul
 

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Voice of Reason
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I think years ago when the fence was placed it was placed at the edge of the woods as it is at the edge of the woods on most of the property line. The neighbor just cleared out some of the woods and started farming it in 1 or 2 places and now is claiming all of it.
By the way, I didn't ask this before, but has your neighbor taken any action concerning the fenced land that he's claiming? What I mean is, aside from him telling you that it's his land now, has he taken any official action? Actions such as filing an Affidavit of Adverse Possession at the recorder's office or filing a Quiet Title action with the court?
 

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Haney Family Sawmill
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Your Question is fencing. I am starting a service where I drive Fence post. I am doing this because I am also whiching to Rail Road ties as part of my Sawmill. If you have your property Surveyed then have someone like me Drive some Solid 6X6 post in the ground with wire ran from the bottom to the top of the ground. Then Have your Survey list these as Markers even if you had them cut off at ground level the Wire would still be there. This is a great way to go through the woods instead of the lite duty metal post and all. Having ties at the mill that I have soaked the bottom in oil makes it cheaper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
By the way, I didn't ask this before, but has your neighbor taken any action concerning the fenced land that he's claiming? What I mean is, aside from him telling you that it's his land now, has he taken any official action? Actions such as filing an Affidavit of Adverse Possession at the recorder's office or filing a Quiet Title action with the court?
Not thnat I'm awear of.
 
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